Stunning views of the mountains. Clean and unspoilt beaches with water that is crystal clear. Drapanos is located in a part of Crete that is truly inspirational. The village is small, but with a thriving community and lots of things to see and do. It is the perfect home for ESA. The ESA building includes a seminar hall and a dining room, both of which seat up to 50 people. It is located in its own grounds, providing privacy and space for reflection.
The aim at every stage in designing and building the ESA building was that sustainable principles should be to the fore. All timber used was certified being Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. Straw bales were used for walls, along with sun-dried adobe bricks (mud bricks).
Being off the central power grid, all energy requirements are provided via solar power, designed and installed by energy engineer Kostas Rovlias from Chania. It was designed by Chania architects Antonia Diamantaki and Zeta Chrissafakis, and built by local builder Antonis Nikoloudakis.
One of the big challenges in the building process was the difficulty of fitting this sustainable approach into the framework permitted by Greek town planning and building regulations. This resulted in a few delays, extra costs and compromises – for instance, being forced to use more concrete and steel than necessary.
Seeking opportunity from every difficulty, the lessons learned from those difficulties have been audited and kept for use in ESA training and education programmes about sustainable construction!